Healthy Gut. Slimmer You. Those words are used to describe Plexus Slim, a very popular weight loss and blood sugar lowering supplement. It's been several years since I first reviewed Plexus Slim (The Pink Drink). In that time, the ingredients have changed a bit. In this Plexus Slim review, I'll compare the ingredients in the original formula to what it contains now and also review the science on its ingredients. Along the way, I'll decipher its key ingredients, and try to shed light on side effects too. I dont work for any supplement company so this is not an Ambassador review. Let's see if Plexus Slim is right for you. For additional info, see the original plexus Slim review and the reviews of Plexus Accelerator Plus, Plexus Boost and Plexus ProBio5.
Plexus Slim Benefits
The Plexus website states the supplement works by providing the following benefits:
- Clinically demonstrated to help you lose weight*
- Promotes the growth of good gut microbes◊*
- Increases Lactobacillus by 365 times and Bifidobacterium by 290 times – contributing to overall health◊*
- Increases the metabolism enhancing Akkermansia microbes by 250 times◊*
- Supports healthy glucose metabolism*
- Clinically studied XOS prebiotic
- Patent pending formula
These are pretty interesting benefits but the * and ◊ next to some of the claims direct our attention to the bottom of the page where it says
- *“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
- ♢ “The results of an in vitro human gut simulator study suggest that Slim’s formula may have several beneficial effects. Further research, including research conducted in humans, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.” Basically they are saying there's no human evidence for these claims.
What's Different In The New Formula
Let's now compare the original Plexus formula (from 2013) to the current ingredients:
|Plexus Slim Original Ingredients||Plexus Slim Current Ingredients|
|Alpha lipoic acid||Green coffee bean extract|
|Oxypregnane steroidal glycoside||Garcina cambogia|
|Chromium (amino nicotinate GTF)||Alpha lipoic acid|
|Mulberry fruit extract|
Comparing the original ingredients old and current ingredients, we see a few differences
1. Chromium has moved positions. It used to be the last ingredient in the proprietary blend. It appears at the very top of the ingredients list.
This may mean the new Plexus Slim formula has more chromium than it originally had. They also now tell us how much chromium Plexus Slim contains (200 micrograms). See the review of chromium and weight loss.
2. Both the old and new formula contain chromium nicotinate. This is a complex of both chromium and niacin. Chromium is often touted for its ability to help reduce blood sugar levels and while there is some evidence of this, not all studies find it works. For example, in this 2013 study chromium nicotinate did not help people with type 2 diabetes.
3. The ingredient originally called “citrin K” is now called by its more familiar name, garcinia cambogia. See the Garcinia Cambogia review.
4. The current ingredients now contain Xylooligosaccharide, green coffee bean and Mulberry fruit extract.
5. Grape skin extract used to be in Plexus but no longer. I'm not sure if this makes a significant difference or not in how effective Plexus Slim might be. I was told (unconfirmed reports) this was because people were having allergic reactions to this ingredient.
Summary: Changes To New Formula
- Chromium is the first ingredient listed
- We are told how much chromium is in the new formula
- Added: Xylooligosaccharide, green coffee bean and Mulberry fruit extract
- Grape skin extract is removed
- Hoodia is removed from formula
- Garcinia cambogia now called by its more familiar name
Question for Ambassadors: why was grape seed extract and hoodia removed from plexus slim?
Plexus Slim Research
Clinical research specifically on Plexus Slim cannot be located. Neither the Plexus website, National Library of Medicine or ClinicalTrials.gov reveal any clinical studies. Some Plexus Ambassadors may cite research but those studies do not appear to be peer reviewed in medical journals. As such, I discount as being less clinically relevant as we cannot see the entire study and how it was conducted.
Plexus Slim Ingredients
Let's now summarize the of research for the main ingredients in the Pink Drink and see what the science says.
The chromium in Plexus chromium polynicotinate. This is basically a form of chromium thought to be better absorbed. Each packet provides 200 micrograms of this mineral. Chromium is probably in this supplement to help reduce blood sugar levels. This makes sense. But, when it comes to weight loss, chromium is a dud. The vast majority of studies since the 1990s show chromium does not work
See the Chromium weight loss review for the evidence.
Xylooligosaccharide (also called XOS) is basically long chains of the xylose sugar stuck together. Xylose is often used as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are the food probiotic bacteria eat. Xylose may be used as a way to bolster production of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
When it comes to gut health, diversity of gut bacteria is important. the more different bacteria, the healthier experts say we are. Two ways to improve gut bacteria diversity is eating more fruits/vegetables and exercise.
Plexus Slim Blend (531 mg)
When it comes to Blends, companies do not have to tell us how much of each ingredient makes up the blend. But we know the first ingredient makes up the most of the blend, while the last ingredient listed makes up the least.
Each packet of plexus slim provides 531 mg of the following ingredients:
1. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee also goes by the name coffae robusta. Its active ingredient is often said to be an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. The Plexus Slim label tells us each packet contains 50% chlorogenic acid. Green coffee is popular for weight loss but I remain skeptical.
The favorable research studies are small and there are not many of them. Also, the studies showing it works have used a supplement called Svetol which is not in Plexus Slim.
What makes green coffee controversial is one of the very best weight loss investigations was retracted after it was found to contain serious errors.
This is why green coffee remains a weight loss scam in my book until unbiased and well designed studies are published.
2. Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia, also known as hydroxy citric acid (HCA) is a popular weight loss supplement. When I did a deep dive into the garcina / weight loss research, I concluded it was at best a 50/50 shot at whether it worked or not. I saw just as many clinical studies showing it worked as didn't work.
Many of the studies though were small and had problems with how they were performed. As such, I don't believe anyone can say for sure if it's an effective weight loss aid.
And then there's the big controversy: Does garcinia cambogia cause liver failure? While I feel the risk is low, there is some evidence it might. While in many such reports, people were taking supplements containing many ingredients, we now have a report of liver failure in someone who only took garcinia cambogia. There is no reports of Plexus Slim causing liver problems or elevating liver enzymes.
See the Supplements and Liver Failure review.
3. Alpha Lipoic Acid
Plexus slim is touted to promote healthy glucose metabolism. Alapha lipoic acid is an ingredient which seems to do this. Multiple studies have shown Alpha Lipoic acid can improve the ability of insulin at reducing blood sugar levels. Amounts used in research are usually around 300 mg per day taken for several weeks. While we are not told how much alpha lipoic acid is in the Pink Drink, it's possible it may have close to this amount.
There is also some evidence alpha lipoic acid may help weight loss. Studies tend to use over 600-1000 mg. This is more than is in Plexus Slim.
4. Mulberry Fruit Extract
There are 2 types of mulberry – black and white. Plexus Slim uses white mulberry (Morus alba). Some evidence shows mulberry can reduce blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes. Some studies use 1000 mg to 5000 mg a day to achieve this effect. Mulberry is also an antioxidant. Some evidence suggest it reduces free radical damage to insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Because it's a food, mulberry likely has many active compounds which probably have multiple effects other than just blood sugar lowering.
Blood Sugar Lowering Ingredients
Here is a quick review of the ingredients in Plexus Slim which lower blood sugar
- Alpha lipoic acid
- White mulberry
See above for specifics on each
Weight Loss Ingredients
Here's a quick review of the ingredients in Plexus Slim which might help weight loss
- Garcinia cambogia
Note. my own opinion is garcinia cambogia doesn't work but there are some studies saying I'm wrong. Im not listing green coffee bean until I see better quality studies on it.
What's The Key Ingredient
There is not just one active ingredient in Plexus Slim. Different ingredients do different things. Its worth noting many of the ingredients are likelly present because of their effects on lowering blood sugar levels. However, reduced blood sugar does not necessarily mean weight loss. When it comes to weight loss, I believe results will vary.
Where To Buy
So where can people buy Plexus Slim? Because the company has a multi-level marketing (MLM) component to it, it's sold in stores like Walmart, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Costco, Target, CVS, Walgreens, korger, Food Lion or RiteAid.
Rather, it can be purchased either from a Plexus Ambassador or directly from PlexusWorldWide.com, the official company website. When ordering Plexus the website, you first have to create an account. When you do, you don't have to provide information on the Plexus ambassador you heard about it from.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Because one does not have to provide details on ambassadors means the Plexus website is in competition with Plexus ambassadors for sales. To become a Plexus Ambassador, it costs $34.95 paid annually.
If you are using a Plexus ambassador, you can provide either their phone number or Plexus ID. If you do, then the ambassador will receive credit for your order – using an Ambassador does not add to the price of Plexus Slim.
How Much Is Plexus Slim?
From the plexus website, if you purchase just 1 month of Slim, the cost is $87.95. Shipping and tax may also be added. There is also an autoship program where you'd receive supplements at regular intervals. Purchasing Plexus Slim this way is a little less expensive – $82.95. Shipping charges and tax may also be added.
Here are the prices of their other products:
- Plexus Block : $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Accelerator +: 39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Boost: $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus 96 Chocolate $35.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus 96 Vanilla $35.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus X Factor $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus X Factor Plus: $ 39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus X Factor Kids $ 34.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus VitalBiome $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus ProBio $39.95
- Plexus BioCleanse 120 ct $ 29.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus MegaX $39.95(+S/H)
- Plexus Nerve $47.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Ease: $44.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Edge $ 34.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Ease Cream $$39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Body Cream $49.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Brest Chek Kit $34.95 (+S/H)
These prices reflect if you purchased an item only once. There is a small discount when on the autoship program.
How Many Calories?
Each packet of Plexus Slim has 5 calories. This is an insignificant amount.
Plexus Slim And Gut Health
When Plexus Slim first came out, it was touted for weight loss. The idea of gut health is an evolution of not only the marketing but also the ingredients in the supplement. With the incorporation of the prebiotic, Xylooligosaccharide (XOS), the idea is now Plexus Slim is supposed to help weight loss by altering the composition of the microbiome (that is, better gut health).
While I'm sure XOS will alter the contents of the microbiome in some way, I don't know what effects this would lead to. Would it lead to better health? Would it mean weight loss would occur? I can't say although no clinical studies linking xylooligosaccharide to weight loss in humans could be located when this review was created.
While anything is possible, until Plexus-gut health studies are published, it's hard to know for sure what the benefits might be. It's worth remembering that eating fruits and veggies and exercise have been shown to improve gut health rather quickly.
Does It Have Caffeine?
Plexus Slim is probably pretty low in caffeine. The label says it has 2% natural caffeine. The caffeine probalby comes from the green coffee bean.
Is It Gluten Free?
Yes. Plexus Slim is gluten free, vegan and non-GMO.
Is Plexus Slim FDA Approved?
The Food and Drug Administration does not approve supplements in the US. There is a law which regulates supplements (DSHEA) but it's often criticized for a number of reasons.
In 2014 PlexusWorldWide did receive a warning letter from the FDA over the language used to describe the benefits of their products Fast Relief ProBio 5 and BioCleanse. Basically the FDA believed the company made statements it should not have made. This sometimes happens with companies. When the FDA sees statements it disagrees with, it reaches out to companies and asks them to change their wording.
See the ProBio 5 Review for more on that supplement.
Plexus Slim Controversies
In 2013 the Australia government's Therapeutic Goods Administration (their FDA) noted Plexus Accelerator 3 day pack contained a banned ingredient called DMAA, which is a stimulant. See the Plexus Accelerator Plus review for more information.
In 2014, the Canadian government also called attention to DMAA as well.
DMAA is no longer found in Plexus supplements.
Is Plexus Doctor Recommended?
I've heard ambassadors say its recommended by medical doctors (MDs/ DOs) but I don't think I've ever encountered a physician who recommended it. That's not to say none do, but I've not met any. My original review has over 2400 testimonials and comments. I don't anyone leaving a comment was a doctor.
If you look at the comments there, you will see some nurses advocating Plexus. Some of them are also Ambassitors which some may say makes them biased. I won't make that call. I'll simply, say I prefer supplements with clinical evidence.
I can understand the challenges faced by doctors who try to get patients to lose weight and blood sugar. It's quite possible some may be OK with a patient trying Plexus Slim for a month or so to see what happens. I'm sure anything which motivates patients is welcomed.
I welcome any physician to leave a comment below about their experiences with this product (positive or not)
Plexus Ambassitors (distributors) are those who sell Plexus supplements. These are often people who had a good experience and want to help others. Sometimes they may be people lured into the business with thoughts of making a lot of money.
An advantage going through an Ambassador is they may be able to offer personalized guidance with how to use the products. While I like this, Plexus Ambassadors may or may not have any nutrition background like college degrees or nutrition certifications. So, if you have a medical issue, the guidance you receive will often not be the same as from a doctor, pharmacist or dietitian.
If people have side effects, the solution is to not take another plexus supplement (or any supplement). The correct response -depending on the severity – is to stop taking the supplement and see if the symptoms improve. For very bad side effects, seeing a doctor is in order.
I bring this up not to slam Plexus Ambassitors but rather to help them better deal with side effects that people may bring up from time to time.
Plexus Slim Didn't Work
If you read the comments below, you'll notice some people saying the new Plexus formula does not work the same way as the old formula. Interestingly, when people report to their ambassadors that Plexus Slim didn't work for them, it appears some blame the person. I'm sure not all Ambassadors do this, but if the comments below are believed, some appear to.
I think that's the wrong way of doing this. I also believe its wrong to try to get people to experiment with another product like the Plexus probiotic supplement. (click to read review). That's my 2 cents. Take it for what it is.
Plexus Slim Research
Plexus Ambassadors often mention the supplement was originally was studied ―not for weight loss―but rather for its effects on reducing blood sugar. As proof of this, they cite a clinical trial done on 8 people with type 2 diabetes conducted between June and October 2008.
While the study does not appear to be peer reviewed, it does seem to show that people taking plexus slim had reduced blood sugar and body weight. When looking at the summary of this trial on the PS website, a few things occurred to me:
1. The study refers to these 8 people as “patients.” This makes me wonder if the people were confined to a hospital or clinic? If yes, this is not a real life test of plexus because most people won't be monitored for food intake the way people in hospitals /clinics might be. If anyone can address this question, I'd appreciate it.
2. The study only had 8 people. That’s not a lot of people.
3. The study doesn’t seem to be peer reviewed / published in a medical journal
4. The clinical study used the original plexus slim formula. Since the formula ingredients have been tweaked a bit since its inception, it's hard to know if the results would be relevant to the new formula.
Regardless as to whether the product was originally studied for its effects on blood sugar, there is no doubt that Plexus Slim is marked mostly for weight loss. As proof, the product website used to say this:
” Having trouble losing weight and keeping it off? You're not alone. But don't worry! Finally there is an all-natural, healthy solution to help you lose weight for the long term.”
Notice, there is no mention of blood sugar, only weight loss. In fact, on the benefits section above, notice “Clinically demonstrated to help you lose weight” is the #1 item listed. That said, if plexus slim helps weight loss (by getting people to eat less calories), then I'd expect blood sugar to be reduced also.
Who Makes Plexus Slim?
The company is called Plexus Worldwide, LLC. The address listed with the Better Business Bureau is 9145 E Pima Center Pkwy Scottsdale, AZ 85258-4627. An online search of this address reveals a corporate center. The former address of the company was 7440 E. Karen Dr. #400, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. The BBB states the business was started on Jan 1 2008.
The BBB gave Plexus World Wide a rating of “A+” when this review was created. This was interesting considering 63% of the reviews were negative. My guess is this high rating is based on the company responding to complaints filed with the BBB. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
There were no SiteJabber reviews for the company when this review was created. See the SiteJabber file for updates.
Contact Plexus Slim
The contact number is 480- 998-3490.
Plexus Slim Side Effects
In healthy people, I think this Plexus Slim is safe in the majorly of people who use this supplement. While there are many positive and negative online reviews, I believe in most people, there are no real dangers, espeically for those who are basically healthy. That said, here are some things to consider for those who may not be “healthy.” This list is not complete:
- Start with less than is recommended for the first seek to see how you react
- Stop taking plexus slim at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Speak to your doctor first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Speak to your pharmacist/ doctor if you take any prescription mediation
- Not intended for people under age 18
- Since it has some caffeine, don't take close to bedtime
- Plexus Slim may reduce blood sugar levels. This may be an issue for some diabetes
- Some reports link garcinia cambogia to liver problems and elevated liver enzymes
- Green coffee extract may reduce blood pressure
- Xylooligosaccharide (XOS) may have a laxative effect in high doses (4grams)
Chromium may reduce thyroid hormone levels when taken at the same time. Separate taking them by at least an hour to reduce this from occurring.
Some evidence suggests chromium may lead to kidney problems. But I think this is rare. I had to search back to 1998 to find a report I felt was relevant. To be safe, speak to your doctor if you have kidney problems before taking chromium supplements.
Some research suggests chlorogenic acid (an ingredient in green coffee) may raise homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are controversial as they may be linked to heart disease. See your doctor if your homocysteine is high for personalized recommendations on this matter.
Leave a comment below if you experienced anything I did not list here.
Plexus Slim Pro & Con
Here is a quick run down of what I liked and didn't like about this supplement. These are my opinions.Yours may be different:
|Company has been in business many years||Expensive|
|Products guaranteed||No clinical research|
|Company responds to complaints||Over-the-top claims|
Does Plexus Slim Work?
I didn't try Plexus Slim and I don't personally know anyone who has tried it. I can only go by the research. Because of its ingredients, I'm fairly sure it will reduce blood sugar levels in some people. But as for weight loss, let's just say results will vary.